The first stage of the county’s law enforcement assessment is loosely taking shape.
On Monday, the Teton County Board of County Commissioners appointed five people to a committee that is intended to help shape the direction of the study. Those people are Ivan Jimenez, Katie Mannen, William McPeak, Ben Read and Babbs Weisman.
The idea for the committee came up after commissioners heard public comment in June from residents who advocated for taking money from law enforcement budgets and allocating it toward human services.
The five people who were selected applied to be on the committee and, in a series of interviews last week that were not broadcast over the county’s livestream, interviewed by the County Commission. The committee’s goal, according to a staff report prepared by County Administrator Alyssa Watkins, is to “help begin to identify the problems, information, questions, and outcomes a future effort might focus on.”
That information will then be used to draft a request for proposals, or RFP, for a subsequent stage of assessment, though it’s not clear which agency will eventually take the lead on the RFP or what it will entail.
“Once drafted,” the staff report reads, “the initial vision is that Teton County or another more appropriate government or community entity would release the RFP and contract with a respondent to accomplish the goals and tasks outlined therein.”
On Tuesday, the commission voted to put $14,000 — $4,000 more than was budgeted for in June — toward the process and select Leadership at Play, a firm helmed by Allison Bergh and Kat Smithhammer, as a facilitator for the initial conversations with the RFP committee.
If the process follows what the firm recommended in its application, Leadership at Play will facilitate six three- or four-hour Zoom meetings over three or four months, likely looking to outside consultants to help with at least one of those meetings.
“Having the right diversity of voices at the table, identifying and ensuring that the necessary community stakeholders support this work, understanding and acknowledging the power dynamic in the conversation, and having awareness of the white privilege that may exist within the group are just a few parts of this work that would require insight and attention to support a successful process,” Bergh wrote. “I would need help to do that effectively.”
Leadership at Play was the only provider of facilitation services to respond to a county request for proposals for facilitating the committee, according to the staff report.